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View Full Version : New guy with questions about '69 Donzi Big Block?



Corey68
06-05-2011, 11:42 PM
Hello everyone, while I'm not new to the forum I am a new poster. I was wondering if any of you Donzi guru's can enlighten me with some information about my boat? I have had this Donzi in storage for the last 20yrs and not 100% sure what model (other than a 18ft classic) I have. I have yet to find the hull number, where can it be physically be found on the boat?

Thanks again for any information you can provide. :)


http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-3.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-13.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-1.jpg

When I aquired the boat many years ago it miraculously it has all the original parts. The engine is a 1969 Chevy 427 Big Block along with the original BB water manifolds. I recently had the V-drive and velvet drive clutch rebuilt, the engine is next on the list.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-15.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-9.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-10.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-11.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-12.jpg

Everything with the interior is there, just needs a little TLC.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-4.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-5.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-7.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-6.jpg

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-14.jpg

The hull is in excellent shape, no major nicks or dings to be found.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-8.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/CoreyTKE/don-2.jpg

silverghost
06-06-2011, 02:10 AM
Most, if not all, of the V-Drive powered Donzi boats were Holman ~Moody Ford powered with 289,351 or the now rare Ford 427 Big Block side oilers.
Since yours is now Big Block Chevy powered it was most likely converted over some years ago.

The OSCO aluminum bell-housing was most likely added at this time to do the engine swap.

Is that a Walter V-drive gearbox ?
The originals were usually Casale V-Drive gearboxes.

Still~ A Great & rare V-drive early Donzi boat !

mattyboy
06-06-2011, 06:59 AM
the hull number on early boats is usually found written on the back side of the dash, or under the deck near the dash, and on the backing plate/block for the bow eye. there may be a foil tag in the back seat area too.the boat looks to have alot of work done to it. somethings can be assumed it is higher than hull 230 as it is not a barrelback and it is older than Nov of 72 if the transom is untouched and it has no HIN stamped on the upper right part of the transom. I would say a 68-70 model year.

Just Say N20
06-06-2011, 07:13 AM
Welcome! Congrats on getting the drive train rebuilt. Besides rebuilding the engine, what else do you plan to do to the boat?

Interesting boat, with perhaps an unfortunate history; the sides cut out of the cockpit tub, the floor cut up, the dash "redone" by covering over the original dash cutouts, and adding lots more gauges. The front seats appear to have been redone at some point.

I agree with Silverghost regarding the engine being replaced. I believe the boat was a V-drive from the factory, but someone replaced the engine along the way.

My eye jumped at the engine clam shell vents; I have never seen them installed facing each other like that.

hdsadey
06-06-2011, 09:07 AM
Umm just a question? First off what I know about v-drives would fit in a thimble with room to spare. The engine pics, are the exhaust on backwards? Looks to me like the engine should be mounted reverse since it has a bellhousing and the v drive is towards the front of the boat? Just askin?

Corey68
06-06-2011, 12:34 PM
Umm just a question? First off what I know about v-drives would fit in a thimble with room to spare. The engine pics, are the exhaust on backwards? Looks to me like the engine should be mounted reverse since it has a bellhousing and the v drive is towards the front of the boat? Just askin?

correct, the manifolds are just on there for mock up and are actually on backwards for how they would sit in the boat.

Corey68
06-06-2011, 12:39 PM
Welcome! Congrats on getting the drive train rebuilt. Besides rebuilding the engine, what else do you plan to do to the boat?

Interesting boat, with perhaps an unfortunate history; the sides cut out of the cockpit tub, the floor cut up, the dash "redone" by covering over the original dash cutouts, and adding lots more gauges. The front seats appear to have been redone at some point.

I agree with Silverghost regarding the engine being replaced. I believe the boat was a V-drive from the factory, but someone replaced the engine along the way.

My eye jumped at the engine clam shell vents; I have never seen them installed facing each other like that.

I appreciate the info. :)

As far as future plans, I'm not exactly sure.

Considering the condition, what do you think it is worth?

Corey68
06-06-2011, 12:41 PM
And thanks again everyone, I appreciate the education. :)

Corey68
06-09-2011, 01:07 AM
Any idea what the boat is worth without the engine, but with v-drive/velbet drive clutch?

Could not find hull #, but located the stern drive # DM104.

Thanks guys:)

MOP
06-09-2011, 07:28 AM
The V drive though suited for the BB application requires the floor to have a hump to accommodate the height. To me it is a finish it up as it has been started, to bring it back to original will require a lot. I can turn out to be a fun boat setup right, cleaned up and running someone will step up to the plate. Phil

gcarter
06-09-2011, 08:04 AM
Any idea what the boat is worth without the engine, but with v-drive/velbet drive clutch?

Could not find hull #, but located the stern drive # DM104.

Thanks guys:)

Maybe $5K-7K, or more if the right person turns up.
I've seen this package sell for that range in the past.

gcarter
06-09-2011, 08:13 AM
Ya know, new, built, Ford side oiler engines are available;

http://i9.ebayimg.com/08/i/000/e1/a3/807a_1.JPG

from here all the time;

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/427-FORD-SIDE-OILER-ENGINE-496-CUBIC-INCH-STROKER-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem45e89972b1QQitemZ30025 5113905QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccesso ries

BUIZILLA
06-09-2011, 08:20 AM
anything under 8 would be great... but I would need an explanation on that blemish spot I see on the port side hull midship area..

silverghost
06-09-2011, 08:40 AM
The V drive though suited for the BB application requires the floor to have a hump to accommodate the height. To me it is a finish it up as it has been started, to bring it back to original will require a lot. I can turn out to be a fun boat setup right, cleaned up and running someone will step up to the plate. Phil

With an original style Casale V-Drive gearbox you might not need a foor hump ?

It would appear that at one point in time most of the original V-Drive equipment , along wih the engine was removed.

Still a very neat & fairly rare boat.

silverghost
06-09-2011, 08:45 AM
The V drive though suited for the BB application requires the floor to have a hump to accommodate the height. To me it is a finish it up as it has been started, to bring it back to original will require a lot. I can turn out to be a fun boat setup right, cleaned up and running someone will step up to the plate. Phil

With an original style Casale V-Drive gearbox you might not need a foor hump ?

It would appear that at one point in time most of the original V-Drive equipment , along wih the Ford engine itself, was removed.
Could the original Ford 427 side-oiler have gone into a reproduction Cobra kit Car.
Many have been in fact been removed from boats for that very reason.

Still a very neat & fairly rare boat as it sits.

Carl C
06-09-2011, 09:43 AM
Just a few things caught my eye besides the port side blemish and wrong placement of engine room vents. Was there an engine fire? That passenger grab handle is for bath tubs and whats with the furnace grates on the interior sides? Also I would think that sitting 20 years on a roller trailer would dimple the hull. This would be a very expensive and major restoration and will probably never run fast by today's standards. It's too bad that these rare boats don't have the collector interest or value that rare cars do. I don't think you'd get much for it but it is a very interesting Donzi and thanks for sharing the pics.

silverghost
06-09-2011, 10:15 AM
anything under 8 would be great... but I would need an explanation on that blemish spot I see on the port side hull midship area..

I have seen a few other V-Drive Donzis sell in the price range that Buizilla mentioned.
BUT~
Those were fairly clean and 100% original, un-altered & usable boats.
Not restored boats~
And NOT incomplete rough projects.
Let's face facts~
This is a fairy rough incomplete & altered project boat; rare or not.
And it will cost BIG $$$, & time, to properly restore.
I also saw the black area on the engine hatch and wondered about a past possible engine fire?.

In the end~~~ the market will set the eventual selling price.
ebay may be your best bet in finding out what that true market selling price really is for your V-Drive Donzi ?
In todays tight economic conditions projects are not bringing very much money at all. They are a very tough sell.
It's a boat Buyer's market.

Just MY opinion.
For what it's worth ?
(Pardon the pun)

BUIZILLA
06-09-2011, 10:24 AM
In the end~~~ the market will set the eventual selling price.
ebay may be your best bet in finding out what that true market selling price really is for your V-Drive Donzi ?
In todays tight economic conditions projects are not bringing very much money at all. They are a very tough sell.
It's a boat Buyer's market. I don't think eBay is a credible benchmark for Donzi value, what_so_ever, especially for good boats... what it IS though, is a bailout marketplace for boats that have suspect credibility, or less than desirable condition items... the good boats, well taken care of, and desired, are NOT sold on eBay.. if you surf the 'net of all the mediums there as tools for resale, you'll see i'm very right... perfect example is what someone posted recently about 22 shopping, then come to find out they were 4k low on a deal, then asking about a boat priced 10k above the last deal they offered... as Barnum always said, if you bottom feed you bottom buy.. then the remorse sets in

mattyboy
06-09-2011, 10:25 AM
anything above 5k is very wishful thinking. This may have been an uncommon boat at one time but now it has been modified past the point of causing real damage to the value. The floor as been cut the sides have been cut , the hull has a repair plus any and all traces of the original drive train are long gone. The things that a collector /buyer would put value onto are not in this boat unmolested hull,original power,overall condition. It is a good prospect for "get her running and enjoy her without dumping excessive amounts of money into her". It is what it is and to return it it's former glory at this point might just be an economic fiasco . some money well spent might get her out on the water and give a few seasons of use.

silverghost
06-09-2011, 10:31 AM
Matty~
As usual you hit it spot on . I agree with you 100%

Jim~
You are 100% correct about ebay .
However in my opinon this would be an ebay boat becuse of it's very rough condition & past alterations as Matty stated.

Corey68
06-09-2011, 01:07 PM
Just a few things caught my eye besides the port side blemish and wrong placement of engine room vents. Was there an engine fire?

No that is black paint overspray, someone thought it was a good idea to lay something on the hatch to paint. There was no engine fire.